The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday moved to uphold the state’s mail-in voting law amid a challenge from Republican state lawmakers.
In a 5-2 decision, the state’s high court overturned a lower court’s decision from January and ruled that Pennsylvania’s Act 77, is constitutional.
“We find no restriction in our Constitution on the General Assembly’s ability to create universal mail-in voting,” Justice Christine Donohue wrote.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement that Tuesday’s ruling ensures that Pennsylvanians “will be able to cast their ballot legally in person or by mail without any disruption or confusion.”
“Voting is a fundamental right — a right that we should ensure is accessible for all voters,” Wolf said. “Mail-in voting is a safe, secure and legal option for Pennsylvania voters to exercise that right. I will continue to advocate for voting reforms that remove barriers and increase access to voting.”
The law, passed with bipartisan support in 2019, expanded the state’s mail-in voting law by creating a no-excuse mail voting option, and came under scrutiny as former President Donald Trump widely criticized mail-in voting following his 2020 presidential election loss.
It was not approved by the state’s constitutional amendment process but enacted by statute, which lead a Bradford County commissioner to file a suit against the Department of State which argued that it violated the constitution and must be implemented by an amendment.
Republican state Rep. Tim Bonner, a freshman lawmaker who was not on the assembly when the measure passed and joined the lawsuit, said that the ruling was expected and he hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would take up the issue and allow voters to decide on the state’s mail-in voting practices.
“Really, the people should have the opportunity to decide what type of election system they have,” he said.
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